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Buccaneers NFL Draft Target: Maryland Tackle, Jaelyn Duncan

The Bucs could look to address an important need early in this year’s draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 17 SMU at Maryland Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buccaneers released long time left tackle Donovan Smith earlier this offseason. While the move was partly due to cap constraints the team had, it was also performance based as well. Smith was not perfect in his time in Tampa, but they could have done a lot worse.

Now, they must find a way to replace him and that is easier said than done. Left tackle is one of the most important positions in football. That is where Maryland tackle Jaelyn Duncan comes in.

Jaelyn Duncan’s Collegiate Career

After not beginning to play football until he was 14, Duncan headed to the University of Maryland to play for the Terrapins. Duncan is a redshirt senior who has started most of the time at left tackle. He was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection for his efforts during his senior season. Playing for the Terps he was largely a left tackle, having started 38 of his 39 career starts at the position.

The 6’6, 320 pound left tackle will have his hard work at Maryland rewarded by having his name called at some point at the NFL Draft.

Pro Day and NFL Scouting Combine

At the NFL Scouting Combine, Duncan ran a 5.10 40 yard dash while also having a 31.50 inch vertical jump and a 113 inch broad jump. At his pro day, he again ran the 40 and produced a better time, clocking in at a 4.95 and he also did the bench press at his pro day where he was able to hit 25 reps.

What Can Duncan Do for the Buccaneers in 2023?

Duncan would have a legit chance to be a day one starter at left tackle for Tampa Bay in 2023. Currently, the Bucs do not have a starting caliber left tackle on the roster. There has been some talk among a lot of media and fans that perhaps right tackle Tristan Wirfs could move over to the opposite side, but that is far from a guarantee.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If Duncan were to be drafted by the Bucs, he would likely be competing with a player like Luke Goedeke for the starting left tackle spot in training camp. Duncan would certainly go through some growing pains in his rookie season as he is far from a finished product, but this is a player that has the potential to come in and be an immediate contributor which is something Tampa Bay needs with their top picks this year.

Three-Year Outlook

If everything works out for Duncan and his career, there is no reason to think that the Bucs couldn’t have one of the top tackle duos in the entire league with he and Tristan Wirfs. Duncan currently has loads of potential but it may take time for him to fully reach it. Three years down the line, Duncan could be developed into one of the better starting left tackles in the league and would be on a cheap rookie contract as well.

Stock Report

Early on in the process, Duncan received some 1st round buzz but now that the dust has settled, it seems likely that he will be a day two pick for some team this April. There are 1st round surprises every year though so while it is unlikely, it is not impossible that he sneaks his way into the back end of the 1st round.

On The Clock...

Let’s hear it Bucs fans, what do you think of Jaelyn Duncan and his potential fit in Tampa Bay? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comment section!


The Buccaneers Should Target Jaelyn Duncan in the NFL Draft...

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Early (19th overall)
    (2 votes)
  • 80%
    As Projected (Day 2)
    (60 votes)
  • 16%
    Late (Day 3)
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    Never. He shouldn’t be on their board
    (1 vote)
75 votes total Vote Now